Re: Cryonics/Nanotech Skepticism (Was: Schindler's List)

Robin Hanson (
Thu, 13 Aug 1998 16:29:03 -0700

Scott Badger writes:
>>>>The latest Cryonics mag has a provocative article by Saul Kent arguing
>>>>that the main reason for low interest in cryonics is almost universal
>>>>disbelief that it will work.
>>>For more info you should look at Cryonet's archives about 6-8 weeks
>>>ago. IMHO, Saul & company (Mike Darwin, et al) have been emotionally
>>>committed to the biological approach and don't really understand the
>>>implications of Nanotechnology and what 150 years of technical development
>>>really means.
>>Your claim and Saul's are compatible. Together they imply almost
>>universal disbelief that nanotech will do what its proponents claim.
>You lost me here. I followed that particular Cryonet thread and got the
>impression that Saul's major point was that the cryonics "industry" has made
>such little progress that it is no wonder that consumers are not persuaded ..

I wasn't trying to summarize that Cryonet thread (which I haven't read). I was addressing the article I read and Hara's claim above.

>... I may be mistaken, but I recall that
>you have used the figure of around 5% as your estimate for the probability
>that cryonics will work. As a proponent, *you* don't seem that confident.
>That's a little disheartening to hear from a cryonicist. Within what time
>frame does your estimate apply? 100 years? 200 years? 500 years? Or do you
>see some other future event (e.g. SI) making the arument moot?

My estimate integrates over all those times. It's the probability that I will ever be revived if frozen today. And it was ">5%".

Robin Hanson RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884 140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-2627